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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Re: Conditional Sentences

    Welcome, Marian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marian
    . . . some of them sound incorrect to me.
    Which ones? Would you list them for us? The list you've provided it rather long. It would if you could narrow down your request.

    By the way, have you tried searching under "mixed conditionals". That might help, too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Post Conditional Sentences

    The following sentences I came across in grammar books and references, but some of them sound incorrect to me. I am not sure. I searched for a comprehensive descriptions on conditional sentences but couldnít find any. I went through dozen of grammar books but none had good illustrations. If you found any mistakes, could you please point it out and explain its grammatical rules? I should be most grateful if you could just offer little help.


    Whatís the difference in the meaning between the following sentences? When do we use each form?

    (1)
    If you drive carefully, you will have fewer accidents.
    If you drove carefully, you would not have so many accidents.

    (2)
    If you help me now, you are a true friend
    If you helped me now, you would be a true friend

    (3)
    if she found a job, she will be happy.
    If she found a job, she was happy.

    (4)
    if they didnít show him the way, he will not find the right office
    if they donít show him the way, he will not find the right office.
    If they didnít show him the way, he wouldnít find the right office

    (5)
    if it rains tomorrow, be sure to close the windows
    if it should rain tomorrow, be sure to close the windows
    if it is raining tomorrow, be sure to close the windows

    (6)
    if the truth were known, public opinion would change
    if the truth were known, public opinion will change

    (7)
    if you donít brush your teeth carefully, you will have many cavities.
    If you didnít brush your teeth carefully, you would have many cavities.
    if you didnít brush your teeth carefully, you will have many cavities.

    (8)
    Even if they offered to pay, I wouldnít accept any money from them.
    Even if they offer to pay, I will not accept any money from them.
    Even if they offered to pay, I will not accept any money from them.

    (9)
    in case you want me, Iíll be in my office
    in case you wanted me, Iíll be in my office

    (10)
    Without me to supplement your income, you wouldnít be able to manage
    Without me to supplement your income, you wonít be able to manage

    (11)
    if you ever touch me, Iíll scream
    if you ever touched me, I would scream

    (12)
    She is taking a stick with her in case she has any trouble on the way
    She is taking a stick with her in case she had any trouble on the way

    (13)
    if you believe that, you will believe anything
    if you believed that, you would believe anything
    if you believed that, you will believe anything

    (14)
    They sat on the grass if it was fine
    They sat on the grass if it were fine

    (15)
    if it was raining, we usually stayed indoors.
    If it rained, we usually stayed indoors.
    If it rained, we would usually stay indoors
    If it was raining, we would usually stay indoors

    (16)
    if the tap is dripping, it needs a new washer.
    If the tap drips, it needs a new washer.

    (17)
    if nuclear weapons are employed in a world war, the world will be destroyed
    if nuclear weapons were employed in a world war, the world would be destroyed

    (18)
    if anything happens, Iíll return immediately
    if anything happened, Iíll return immediately
    if anything should happen, Iíll return immediately

    (19)
    if anyone should come this way, we would be caught like rats in a trap
    if anyone should come this way, we will be caught like rats in a trap
    if anyone comes this way, we will be caught like rats in a trap

    (20)
    if he goes, I will go too.
    If he were to go, I would go too
    If he went, I would go too
    If he goes, I would go too

    (21)
    The older men would find it difficult to get a job if they left the farm
    The older men will find it difficult to get a job if they leave
    The older men will find it difficult to get a job if they left

    (22)
    I should be surprised if it was less than five pounds
    I should be surprised if it were less than five pounds

    (23)
    if you are in doubt, ask at your local library
    if you were in doubt, ask at your local library

    (24)
    Whether I agreed or not, the search would take place
    Whether I agreed or not, the search will take place
    Whether I agree or not, the search will take place

    (25)
    Will he come if I shout?
    Will he come if I shouted?
    Would he come if I shouted?

    (26)
    Will you have enough time?
    Would you have enough time?

    (27)
    He would come if you called
    He would have come if you had called
    He will come if you call

    (28)
    if I get an invitation, Iíll go there right away
    if I got an invitation, I would go there right away

    (29)
    if it gets cold tonight, I will turn on the heating
    if it got cold tonight, I would turn on the heating

    (30)
    I shouldnít get to sleep at all if I lived next to that noise
    I wouldnít get to sleep at all if I lived next to that noise
    I shouldnít get to sleep at all if I live next to that noise

    ---------------------------------------------------

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Re: Conditional Sentences

    Hi, Marian. Goodness!! That's quite a task you've set . . . someone. You're lucky. I'm a newbie, learning how to navigate this system; so I will afford you a couple of minutes. You may ask me further questions later.

    Barron's TOEFL preparation texts have, from memory, a good introduction to conditionals.

    Most TOEFL teachers start with what are termed the first, second, and third conditionals. Then, when students have just about choked trying to learn the complexities of these three, teachers start teaching the less common forms.

    First conditional: I will pay Bruce if I see Bruce.

    Second conditional: I would fly if I had wings.

    Third conditional: I would have given her some money if I had known if she needed some money.

    You need to learn (a) the pairs of tenses that mark each of the three (and the other) types, and the distinctions in their meaning. For example, first conditionals are about real possibilities -- I might see Bruce, and I'll pay him if I do see him. Second conditionals (which are [obvious] subjunctives -- and that's a whole new can of worms) are about things are 'unreal,' like growing wings and flying. Third conditionals are the something-didn't-happen-at-some-time-in-the-past-but-if-the-thing-had-happened-I-would-have . . .

    Mark in Perth

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